How to Skip Ahead to start early testing of next version of Windows 10

Microsoft introduces “skip ahead” for Insiders testing pre-releases of Windows 10 in the Fast ring. The new “skip ahead” option allows users to get an even earlier start on the next development of the next version of Windows 10, which we currently know as Redstone 5.

In the past, testers needed to wait until a new version was finalized before getting new preview builds of the next release, but Microsoft is making changes in the Windows Insider Program settings to allow you to skip ahead.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to skip ahead to the next release of Windows 10.

How to use Windows 10’s skip ahead option using Settings

Skip ahead is an option only available for users with devices already enrolled in the Fast ring of the Windows Insider Program. If you’re not, you must first enrolled and then use these steps.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.

  4. Under “What kind of content would you like to receive?” select the Skip ahead to the next Windows release option from the drop-down menu.

    Windows Insider Program skip ahead settings

Once you completed the steps, soon your device will be moved to the RS_PRERELEASE branch for the next version of Windows 10 (Redstone 5), which is expected to roll out in fall 2018.

Initially, builds available in the RS_PRERELEASE and RS4_RELEASE will look almost identical, but using the RS_RELEASE branch you’ll start getting built-in apps updates from the Store, and eventually the build number will jump ahead and things will diverge. Microsoft also warns you’ll need to reinstall Windows 10 if you want to go back to get regular Fast ring builds.

The company also warns that builds available in the new branch are not stable, and it’s meant for testers who like to be the first to find issues, provide suggestions, and ideas to help shape the future of Windows.

If you don’t change your settings, you’ll continue to get builds for the Windows 10 version 1803 as you would normally do, but they come from the RS4_RELEASE branch.

After the new version of Windows 10  releases to everyone, the “skip ahead” option will go away, and the Fast ring will go back to receiving builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch just like before.

Update February 15, 2018: This tutorial was originally published in July 2017, and it’s now been updated to reflect the changes of the new update.